Neonized Turns 8 With Ginormous Compilation, Spring Über Alles

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The guys from Spanish imprint Neonized love spring, not only because of the warm weather and the blooming flowers, but also because it marks the label’s anniversary season. This year is their eighth one; eight long years digging through the underground and putting out amazing music by up-and-coming electronic producers. They know that’s a hard task to perform, and that’s why this year they wanted a big celebration, which actually turned out huge. They spent every Tuesday of March releasing each of the four volumes that comprises Spring Über Alles, an enormous celebratory compilation that combines works from electronic artists, mainly from Spain, in a grand total of 34 tracks.

The artists featured on the compilation are either friends with the label, part of their roster, or just people they love, and they all have in common that they’re pretty good at what they do. This is instantly apparent right off the bat, when volume one starts with Mario Nieto‘s cute and playful take on Jersey club, called “Magic Sunset (Short Edit),” a track we actually premiered not too long ago. BSN Posse quickly follow with their nervous but soulful footwork edit of Chet Faker’s hit “Gold,” and it’s very impressive to hear how they actually made him sound like a woman by just pitching up the vocals. Here are also featured tracks by two producers we’ve watched rise fast: Skygaze, with a bouncy and textural track called “21 Degrees,” and Abrigo de Pelos, with the gorgeous and unfairly short “Jem.”

Volume two of Spring Über Alles sounds like the only one that was consciously put together following a theme, and that theme is house music. Colombia-born, Barcelona-based Blanali dives into it with a song called “Reflections,” giving the traditional house sound a personal, saturated twist. Tøuch‘s “On You” has more to do with indie, but it still would work on the dance floor with its Balearic mood. Veteran Pau Roca and newcomer Pyrénées are also here, working their house magic, but it’s odd that both their contributions sound like the same song. More interesting is Hi.Mo‘s “Here We Go” and its fractured beat, unexpected twists, and pillowy samples.

Vallès kicks off the compilation’s third volume with his sampletastic “Heartbeat,” a track so funky it’s irresistible, spiced up with organic instrumentation. By now, we sense this group of songs tilt over the poppy side, and it becomes clear when Bearoid‘s “Martina” starts, followed by “Fun,” by Homiboy. These songs are two of the few that embrace vocals as their focal points, and the latter brings some great and necessary diva moments. OPTMST is responsible for a major future R&B moment on “14wr,” where he flawlessly uses vocal samples as synths, and injects child-like innocence with the sounds he uses.

The fourth and final volume of the compilation is an eclectic one. Here we have, for example, the heavy, Rusty-like maximalism of InnerCut, beaming with bright sounds, back to back with the fat bass and bigger-than-life trance stabs of Fitzroy North‘s “Moby Dick.” “Antartica,” the smooth collaboration between BeGun and Drömnu, is glitchy and contemplative, and finds serenity even though the beat is quite fast. One of the songs that stands out for its simplicity is Sandro Jeeawock‘s greatly titled “Zé Pequeño,” which blends dub, epic synth solos, and funk carioca elements.

Spring Über Alles is a celebratory release for the guys from Neonized, but they ended up giving us so much more than that. They gave us thorough proof that the Spanish (and beyond) electronic music scene is in solid shape, fresh and great sounding. You just have to keep your ears open.